Exploring the relationship between privatisation of health care and infant mortality in Africa
Klazinga, Niek S.
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The introduction of user fee system in the government health facilities of most Sub-Saharan African countries (SSA), shifted part of the burden of financing health care onto the community, raising concerns about its relation to the health outcome of the infants and children. To explore whether user fees have no relation to the reduction in under five mortality rate in SSA. We took user fees as a proxy measure for Privatization in the health sector and under five mortality rate (U5MR) as a proxy measure for the infant and child mortality rate. The exploratory study involved thirty-seven SSA countries who had implemented some form of user fees systems by 1995. We analyzed by regression cross-sectional data of the study variables, in addition to studying literature on the subject. Out-of pocket payment has a relation to the reduction of U5MR in SSA.The null hypothesis rejected at conventional level of 0.05, (p= 0.233) and CI (-1.136 to 0.288). A review of the literature further emphasizes this reduction, elaborating on how; user fees do influence the health seeking behaviors of the families of these children. We can to an extent attribute the reduction in the health outcome of the infants and children of Sub-Saharan Africa to out-of-pocket payment, bearing in mind that user fees as a health policy can be seen in this instance as a "input", to a means to an end. As a health policy, user fee should be implemented with specific regulations, and supplemented with other forms of health care financing, to boost government revenue and development of the health care delivery systems.